SEATTLE — A 77-year-old man who was shot to death by Seattle police suffered from dementia, his family said Monday.
Henry Lee Sr. had the disorder and other diseases, his son, Henry Lee Jr. told The Seattle Times.
The man’s grandson, Gabriel Lee, said he was a retired construction worker who lived alone and had been losing his memory over the past three years.
The King County medical examiner’s office said it was working to confirm the name of the man.
Police said the man was alarmed by a disturbance outside his home and called 911 using his medical alert relay service. He was shot Sunday night when he met officers at the door with a gun, police said.
“He was talking about the lights outside and said he had a weapon and wasn’t afraid to use it,” said police Det. Mark Jamieson. The man also mentioned a prowler, but there was none, Jamieson said.
The man refused commands to drop the weapon, police said, and was killed when two officers fired.
No officers were injured. The officers involved were placed on paid administrative leave during the shooting investigation, which is standard procedure.
It’s unclear why the man responded the way he did.
“We don’t know what his thinking process was,” Jamieson said.
The disturbance reported by the man turned out to be the fire department responding to a person in a car who appeared to have some sort of medical crisis.
Gabriel Lee told the Times his grandfather was still competent but forgetful.
“He used to have a lot of guns, but my dad took most of them away,” Gabriel Lee said. “He was always nice to me. He took me fishing when I was a kid.”